People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is demanding that the state of Florida outlaw the American rite of passage of dissecting dead frogs because a short video shows a high school teacher juggling dead frogs.
The video, which appeared on the social media platform Vine way back in the spring, shows a biology teacher juggling the deceased amphibians in what appears to be a classroom at Sickles High School in Tampa, Fla.
“Flying frogs,” the unidentified teacher says in the five-second video, which you can see at Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS’s website.
A voice from off camera shouts “You suck” in response to the teacher’s embarrassingly bad dead frog-juggling skills.
In a sternly-worded letter, PETA has contended that juggling dead frogs — no matter how proficiently — violates state-mandated professional standards as well as the standards set by the National Association of Biology Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association.
But the problem is much worse than that, and much broader, according to PETA.
“Frogs used for dissection are torn away from their homes in the wild and killed,” PETA spokesman (and director of laboratory investigations) Justin Goodman proclaimed in a press release obtained by Bay News 9, a St. Petersburg, Fla. cable network. “In classrooms like this one, students are taught that these abused animals are props and inanimate laboratory tools to be mocked, mutilated and discarded.”
The radical animal rights organization initially complained about the video in the summer. Members of the organization secured a meeting with Hillsborough County school officials to discuss their view that no students should ever dissect a frog. PETA’s staff biology teacher was there to instruct.
Since that encounter, there have been two meetings scheduled for PETA members to discuss their position with science teachers from the Tampa region. However, the science teachers have blown off those meetings.
Local school district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said the district will not prohibit frog dissection in biology classes.
“We still see, as a district, that dissection is an important part of the curriculum for our students, and we do follow all state guidelines when it comes to dissection,” Arja said, according to Bay News 9.
Local parents appear to be nonplussed.
“The animal’s gonna be dissected,” veritable parent on the street Shara Thwaites-Diaz told the cable station. “It’s a dead animal. Probably been in formaldehyde for some time, so I don’t see the issue.”
PETA strives hard to be in the news. This summer, for example, the animal rights group demanded the construction of a roadside poultry shrine commemorating several hundred chickens which died in the aftermath of a semi-trailer truck crash in Saskatchewan. The deceased fowl breathed their last during a wreck on a desolate stretch of highway between two obscure Canadian towns. (RELATED: PETA Seeks Roadside Memorial For Chickens Killed In Crash)